Private student loans are credit-based, non-federal education loans made through private lenders. Also referred to as “Alternative Loans”, private loans are an available resource in paying for school. Programs are typically available through banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.

It is strongly recommended that you only consider private loans after all other available scholarships, state, and/or federal funding has been exhausted. As a rule, students should only consider borrowing a private education loan if they have reached their Federal Student Loan borrowing limit.

We encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to determine any eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) before borrowing a private loan. Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options. Learn more about the differences between federal student loans and private loans by visiting StudentAid.Gov at:

If you decide to pursue private loans for financing your education, research all your options carefully before making any borrowing decision. Private loans will affect your other student aid and must be included on your financial aid package. This is because all your student aid added together cannot be more than your cost of attendance. Be sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower and be aware of the following:

  • Eligibility requirements and application process.
  • Terms and Conditions (Interest rates, fees, deferment, and repayment options).
    Schools with which the lender will work. 
  • All applicants for private educational loans are required to complete a self-certification form before a disbursement can be made. 
  • Typically, only direct costs, including course materials for graduate students and technology expenses are considered when certifying private student loans.
  • APUS may certify a one-time amount over direct charges for additional education expenses.  You may email the financial aid office at [email protected] to request additional education costs (course materials, technology expenses) for your loan.
  • When registering for courses, choose “Loan” as the payment type.

The following is a list of lenders that have provided loans to APUS students in the last 5 years:

  • SallieMae
  • Edly
  • OneLogos

APUS does not endorse, recommend, or promote any lender for private loans. Students can choose to use any private education loan provider, even if they are not on the above list. The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that all institutions adopt a Code of Conduct which serves as the formal guiding principles in ensuring integrity of the student loan process and ethical conduct of APUS employees in regard to student loan practices.